Staff Writer -
Key West City Paper - 09/02/04
The Danny Morris Band
One of The Green Parrot Bar's most popular bands, the Danny Morris Band, returns again to The Parrot this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 3rd, 4th and 5th with shows 10 o'clock Friday and Saturday and 9 o'clock Sunday.
For more than eight years, guitarist Danny Morris has traveled the club circuit with a blues and surf-rock style that's found loyal fans while mystifying others. It's easy to understand that mixing Albert King grit with Ventures reverb could raise some eyebrows, but for Morris it's a simple wedding of two styles he loves.
"Danny Morris Band surfs up a variety of music roots, blues and rock melding Latin/Cuban beats, 30s/40s swing and surfin' hop into a unique and transient dish with something for every one." Says Slim Keith of the Washington Post.
Morris grew up listening to the music around him. The guitar wizardry of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Johnny Winter "was always blarin' out" from his brother's mid-'70s record stash and he got his first guitar at age 12.
But unlike others, Morris got caught up in the history of the
music. During his early Chapel Hill high school years he wrote a
report on the birth of rock 'n' roll and it's blues roots. He learned early that Clapton copped from Freddie King and The Fabulous T-Birds
owed a thing or two to Slim Harpo. During this time Morris started his own bands and developed his blues-based style.
But a school friend "way into surfing" also cranked up Dick
Dale for Morris one day and the young guitarist was equally wowed
"It sounded like Jimi Hendrix playing surf music," Morris remembers, re-calling the sonic attack.
In the '80s, a healthy blues scene developed in Greensboro.
N.C. Morris got a band going there and one night Bob Margolin, the
well-respected former Muddy Waters Band guitarist, heard him play.
Morris and Margolin hit it off.
Through Margolin, Morris learned more old-school guitar-
blues theory and met the Nighthawks. The 'Hawks were looking for i
guitarist and in late 1990, they asked Morris to join. He jumped at the
chance to play and travel with a well-established, blues-rockin' band.
For the next few years he traveled the United States, Europe
and Japan with the band playing one-nighters. Because of tht
Nighthawk's blues-rockabilly- rock format, Morris was free to toss ir
the occasional surf lick. But he also played with his own D.C. basec
band during 'Hawks down time and he felt changes coming.
After splitting amiably from tlie Nighthawks, Morris
hooked up with a full-time bass player and drummer and started his own gig. Mixing blues, surf and "retro-rock", the band began a relentless east coast touring schedule that's still rolling today. Morris says they occasionally play blues festivals where audiences don't want the surf sounds but he adds that his most loyal fans understand the mix.
Morris admits he's reached the point where he'd like to "work smart and not work so hard" and he recently took some time off to persue a commercial pilot's license. But, regardless of the hard touring, he adds there always a reward at the end of the road.
Surf on in to The Green Parrot Bar this week. The Green Parrot Bar, vour Southernmost Center for Culture, at the corner of Whitehead and Southard Streets.